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					     St. Johns County
2010 Legislative Action Plan
     Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners
                    October 6, 2009




                       Contents:
             Matrix of Legislative Priorities
           Summary of Legislative Action Plan
     Information Papers on each Legislative Priority


      Prepared by the Office of the County Administrator
             Karen Pan, Public Affairs Specialist
               kpan@sjcfl.us | (904) 209-0549
                St. Johns County 2010 Legislative Priorities


                                            Policy or
                                                              State       Regional      Federal
          Legislative Priority             Financially
                                                            Priorities    Priorities   Priorities
                                             Driven
Amend Select Florida Statutes                 Policy            X
Beach Renourishment                         Financial           X                          X
Emergency Interoperability System           Financial           X                          X
Failing Septic Tanks                        Financial           X                          X
Health & Human Services                       Both              X
Housing and SHIP Funding                    Financial           X
Juvenile Justice                              Both              X
Library Funding                             Financial           X
Recreation/Open Space                       Financial           X             X
Transportation                              Financial           X             X            X
Unfunded Mandates                             Both              X
Water Conservation/Water Quality              Both              X             X




  As presented by:      Commissioner Ron Sanchez, Chair
                        St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners

                        St. Johns County Legislative Delegation Meeting

                        November 12, 2009 – 4:00 pm

                        St. Johns County Auditorium
                        500 San Sebastian View
                        St. Augustine, Florida
                                St. Johns County
                           2010 Legislative Action Plan
                                    Summary of Legislative Priorities


1. Amend Select Florida Statutes

      a. Uniform Minimum Standards of County Roads - Amend Section 336.04, Florida Statutes,
         to include an additional paragraph expressly authorizing Florida counties to determine the
         reasonable level and frequency of road maintenance.

      b. Recognize Inherent Danger of Surf and Other Naturally Occurring Beach Conditions
         along Florida’s Coast - Amend paragraph 380.276(6), Florida Statutes, to include property
         and access to the present description of any injury or loss of life as matters that the Florida
         taxpayers, through governmental entities and their employees and agents, will not be held
         liable for damages or loss due to surf or other naturally occurring conditions.

      c. Extend Deadline to Convert ADA Voting Equipment to Paper Ballot System – Amend
         101.56075, Florida Statutes, to extend the deadline for converting ADA voting equipment to
         the paper ballot system from 2012 to 2016.

2. Beach Renourishment

   Federal Funding – Request $7 million in federal funding (FY10) to support the design and
   construction efforts required to continue beach nourishment along Reach R137-R151 (St. Augustine
   Beach between Anastasia State Park and Sea Colony) in St. Johns County.

3. Emergency Interoperability System

   Federal Funding – Request approximately $36 million in state funds for construction of the
   interoperable Project 25 800MHz Public Safety Communications System and Combined
   Communications Center.

4. Failing Septic Tanks

   Federal/State Funding – Request $18 million in Federal/State funding to eliminate failing septic
   tanks and storm water run off problems in the West Augustine, Armstrong, and North Hastings areas.

5. Health & Human Services

      a. State Funding – Support increased state funding for community mental health and substance
         abuse services, crisis intervention teams (CIT), and Criminal Justice Mental Health Substance
         Abuse Technical Assistance Centers.

      b. Medicaid Billing Methodology – Support a fair and equitable billing methodology for
         purposes of assessing the amount of county subsidization of the state’s Medicaid expenditures
         for nursing home services.


                                                  1
6. Housing and SHIP Funding

      a. Cap on SHIP Funding – Request removal of the cap on state SHIP funding that has been
         diverted over the past several years.

      b. Restoration of SHIP Funding – Request restoration of funding for SHIP affordable housing
         initiatives which will stimulate employment through housing rehabilitation and new home
         construction.

7. Juvenile Justice

      a. Blueprint Commission Report – Support the findings and recommendations of the
          Department of Juvenile Justice’s Blueprint Commission report.

      b. Proportional Financial Responsibility – Support revising s. 985.686, F.S., to define the
          financial responsibility for juvenile detention care by means of proportional responsibility
          between the state and the county.

      c. Detention Risk Assessment Instrument – Support legislation that implements juvenile
          detention alternatives and revises the Detention Risk Assessment Instrument (DRAI) to divert
          children from detention facilities.

      d. Uniform State Funding – Support uniform state funding of Juvenile Assessment Centers
         (JAC) throughout Florida to strive to achieve equal treatment of youth offenders.

8. Library Funding

      a. State Aid – Restore State Aid to Public Libraries funding from the current $21,253,978 to the
         $33,400,000 appropriated in 2000-2001.

      b. Division of Library and Information Systems – Request support of the continuation of the
         Department of State, in particular the Division of Library and Information Systems, and its
         programs in their current form as the agency goes through the Sunset Review process.

      c. Library Cooperative Grants – Restore funding for Library Cooperative Grants from the
         current $1.2 million to the $2.4 million appropriated in 2007-2008, which provide critical
         funding for Florida’s six multi-type library cooperatives.

9. Recreation/Open Space

      a. Grant Funding – Request continued funding for Florida Communities Trust Florida Forever
         Program, Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program, Division of Historic
         Resources Special Categories Grants, and Land and Water Conservation Grants.

      b. Scenic and Historic Byways – Request continued support to raise awareness and provide
         funding opportunities for the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway and the William
         Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway.




                                                 2
      c. Development Rights for Conservation Land – Request the 2010 Florida Legislature to
         support legislation to assist counties in acquiring development rights to reserve land for
         conservation, ecotourism, working agricultural lands, and similar uses.

10. Transportation

      a. State Road 9B - Make the critical State Road 9B roadway eligible for the greatest possible
         range of funding resources by designating it as a Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) Facility;
         and include in the FDOT Work Program adequate funds to move this critical project,
         particularly those sections between County Road 2209 and I-95, toward construction at the
         earliest possible date.

      b. State Road 312, including the State Road 313 Bypass - Request $90 million in state funds
         for the design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction of the State Road 313 Bypass from
         State Road 207 to State Road 16; and Request $83 million for the State Road 313 Bypass from
         State Road 16 North to US1.

      c. I-95 Interchange with County Road 210 – Request $50 to $100 million in state funds for
         long-term improvements to the I-95 interchange with County Road 210 as specified by the
         forthcoming Interchange Modification Report.

      d. County Road 210 Overpass at US 1 – Request $38 million in state funds for construction of
         the County Road 210 overpass over US1 (as a phase one improvement), and $49 million in
         state funds for construction of interchange ramps for the County Road 210 overpass over US1
         (as a second phase).

11. Unfunded Mandates

      a. State Cooperation – Request the State to cooperate with local governments to collectively
         serve the citizens of Florida in the best way and be considerate of local governments when
         passing down unfounded mandates.

      b. 75% Recycling Goal – Establish adequate and appropriate state tax revenue sources dedicated
         to the cost of achieving the 75% recycling rate goal. Examples of such State revenue sources
         include, but are not limited to:
            i. A bottle bill requiring a deposit for all types of drink containers.
           ii. A plastic bag fee based on the number of bags ordered annually by any business.
          iii. Statewide mandatory commercial recycling by entities defined as “commercial”,
               including a fee for compliance monitoring and enforcement.
          iv. Statewide mandatory minimum recycling rate for construction and demolition debris
               facilities, including a fee for compliance monitoring and enforcement.
           v. Statewide mandatory recycling of collected yard waste, including a fee for compliance
               monitoring and enforcement.

      c. New Proposed EPA Regulations (Numeric Nutrient Criteria) – Request the Florida
         Legislature direct the FDEP to initiate the collection and analysis of adequate, timely, and
         appropriate data upon which to base the establishment of NNC regulations specific to Florida.
         Also request, in the strongest manner, that the EPA delay further action until Florida has had
         sufficient time to study and understand the impact of these new regulations on our unique
         environment and fragile economy. Finally, reqeust the Florida Legislature provide sufficient
         funds to allow timely compliance with the FDEP regulations when they are adopted. Ideally,



                                                  3
          this funding would come from a specific and dedicated revenue source that is not currently
          available to local government jurisdictions.

      d. Total Maximum Daily Loads – Request $50 million in State funds over the next five years to
         assist in complying with the existing unfunded mandates for TMDL’s. Alternatively, this
         funding could come from a specific and dedicated revenue source, authorized by the Florida
         Legislature that is not currently available to local government jurisdictions.

12. Water Conservation/Water Quality

      a. 2008 Water Congress Recommendations – Support the Final 18 Recommendations of the
         2008 Water Congress Delegation, with emphasis on the Final 4 Recommendations:
           i. Reinstate the annual state funding for alternative water supply development and water
              quality improvement and make it a recurring source of annual state funding.
          ii. Support regional partnerships, incentives, and cooperative approaches to addressing long-
              term water sustainability in Florida.
         iii. Amend, as necessary, any statute, rule, or policy so that quantifiable water conservation
              best management practices are considered an “alternative water supply” and are equally
              as eligible for funding as capital facility expansion proposals.
         iv. Set a per capita target or goal for water use and quantifiable best management water
              practices and provide a stable funding base for the Conserve Florida program.

      b. Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida Recommendations – Support the
         Recommendations in the Third Annual Report of the Century Commission for a Sustainable
         Florida, including:
           i. Reinstating the annual state funding for alternative water supply development.
          ii. Amend any state statute, rule, or policy so that quantifiable water conservation best
              management practices are considered an alternative water supply and are equally as
              eligible for funding as capital facility expansion proposals.
         iii. Encourage regional visioning and support sustainable community design.
         iv. Strengthen Florida’s buildings to address issues of hurricane protection, insurance rates,
              water conservation, and energy conservation.




                                                  4
                   St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                     Amend Florida Statutes – Maintenance of County Roads


Subject:        Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction, and
                Maintenance of County Roads

1. PURPOSE: To add a new paragraph to Section 336.045, Florida Statutes, to read:

           7) Counties are authorized to plan and conduct county road maintenance at a level and
           frequency reasonable under the circumstances, as determined by each county,
           considering public safety, the quality of the road, traffic volume, traffic speed,
           environmental conditions, economic considerations, signage, and other related factors.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

   a)      Florida Counties and other local governments are best situated to determine local conditions
           and determine the reasonable level and frequency of road maintenance.

   b)      St. Johns County has a wide variety of inventory pertaining to its county roads, including
           different quality levels of paved roads, gravel roads, dirt roads and beach roads.

   c)      Especially with budget constraints, counties are challenged to prioritize available
           transportation funds for the purposes of matching road maintenance with the pertinent factors
           of public safety, the quality of the road, traffic volume, traffic speed, environmental
           conditions, and other related factors.


3. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: Amend section 336.045, Florida Statutes, to include an
   additional paragraph expressly authorizing Florida counties to plan to determine the reasonable level
   and frequency of road maintenance.
                   St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                 Amend Florida Statute – Recognize Inherent Danger on Coast


Subject:        Recognize Inherent Danger of Surf and Other Naturally
                Occurring Beach Conditions Along Florida’s Coast

1. PURPOSE: To amend paragraph 380.276(6), Florida Statutes, to recognize that property and access
   may be damaged by naturally occurring conditions along Florida’s coast.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

   a)      It is unfair and against public policy to hold Florida taxpayers in general responsible for
           unfortunate losses of property or access caused by changing surf and other naturally occurring
           conditions along coastal areas.

   b)      Paragraph 380.276(6), Florida Statutes, already provides that any injury or loss of life caused
           by changing surf and other naturally occurring conditions are not matters that the State, State
           agencies, local and regional government entities or authorities, and their individual employees
           and agents can be held liable for. The same concept should apply to property and access
           caused by changing surf and other naturally occurring conditions along coastal areas.


4. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: Amend paragraph 380.276(6) to include property and
   access to the present description of any injury or loss of life as matters that the Florida taxpayers,
   through governmental entities and their employees and agents, will not be held liable for damages or
   loss due to surf or other naturally occurring conditions.

   Paragraph 380.276(6) should be amended to read (recommended change shown in bold):

           380.276(6) Due to the inherent danger of constantly changing surf and other naturally
           occurring conditions along Florida’s coast, the state, state agencies, local and regional
           government entities or authorities, and their individual employees and agents, shall not
           be held liable for any injury or loss of life, property, or access caused by changing surf
           and other naturally occurring conditions along coastal areas, whether or not uniform
           warning and safety flags or notification signs developed by the department are
           displayed or posted.
                   St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                   Amend Florida Statutes – ADA Voting Equipment Extension


Subject:        Extend Deadline to 2016 to Convert ADA Voting Equipment to
                Paper Ballot System

1. PURPOSE: To amend 101.56075, Florida Statutes, to extend the deadline for converting ADA
   voting equipment to the paper ballot system from 2012 to 2016.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

   a) In 2007 the Florida Legislature voted to make Florida a “paper ballot” state. Part of the
      legislation, Florida Statute 101.56075, required the conversion of the ADA voting equipment to a
      paper ballot based system by 2012. The hope was that by 2012 additional ADA voting systems
      would be developed and certified in the state.

   b) The Federal 2002 Help American Vote Act (HAVA) required all counties to purchase a voting
      system for each voting location that would be accessible to persons with any disability. The
      majority of counties purchased touch screens with audio ballots. At the time, touch screens were
      the only certified accessible voting system in the state. Currently, there is only one certified
      optical scan (paper) system that meets this requirement – the AutoMark – currently used by only
      four counties in Florida.

   c) The cost for counties in Florida required to make the voting system change by 2012 is estimated
      at nearly $35 million, not including any debt incurred from the 2001 and 2007 voting equipment
      changes.

   d) The Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections has been working with the disability
      community on accessible voting equipment since the enactment of HAVA, voter education on the
      accessible voting systems used on Election Day, and with concerns associated with the 2012
      requirement. The disability community is disappointed that development of new technology,
      especially to encompass all types of disabilities, has not occurred since this legislation passed and
      that only one paper based option is available to election officials.

   e) The preference is to stay with the current systems in the counties without AutoMark and focus on
      encouraging voting system vendors and the Department of State to focus on development of a
      system that would serve persons with any type of disability during the voting process, especially
      with absentee ballots.


3. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: Due to economic pressures on Counties around the state,
   the operational impact to Supervisors of Elections budgets, and the fact that new technology has not
   developed to allow any person with any disability to vote independently, St. Johns County requests
   the Legislature to amend 101.56075, Florida Statutes, to extend the deadline for converting ADA
   voting equipment to the paper ballot system from 2012 to 2016.
                     St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                             Beach Renourishment


Subject:         St. Johns County Beach Renourishment
1.    PURPOSE: Request $7 million in federal funding (FY10) to support the design and construction
     efforts required to continue beach nourishment along Reach R137 – R151 (St. Augustine Beach
     between Anastasia State Park and Sea Colony) in St. Johns County, Florida.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

     a) The 50-year nourishment project was authorized by WRDA in 1986 and reauthorized in 1999.
        The area was nourished in 2002 and renourished in 2005 following a series of tropical storms.
        The project area extends 2.5 miles from Anastasia State Park recreation area through St.
        Augustine Beach. Nourishment will be provided at 5-year intervals over the life of the project. St.
        Johns County is requesting Federal assistance in obtaining $7 million in federal funding (FY10)
        to support the design and construction efforts to complete the third five-year interval nourishment
        project.

     b) Beach nourishment will help protect A1A, a major evacuation route for the community. The
        project will help the numerous businesses and homeowners along this road whose property is
        threatened by beach erosion.

     c) Beach nourishment is in progress, with the State providing $2.6 million and County providing
        $1.3 million. The FY02 Federal budget provided $18 million. The FY05 Federal budget provided
        $16 million. The Army Corps of Engineers has requested the County pursue an appropriation for
        $1.2 million for design and $15 million for construction for the St. Augustine Beach
        renourishment project in FY09 and FY10. In FY09 the County received $7.0 million in
        supplemental funding to design and construct portions of the overall project. These funds will be
        combined with State DEP and the County as the local share. The five-year renourishment cycle
        was accelerated from FY06 to FY05 due to the 2004 and 2005 storms and hurricanes. Storm
        activity in 2007 has caused erosion that follows closely with the Beach models. Scheduled
        nourishment is required and planned on a five-year schedule and it is time to accomplish the
        design and construction of the next renourishment cycle in FY09 and FY10.

3. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: Saving the beaches in St. Johns County is a quality of
   life issue for residents and visitors; it can also have major economic consequences. Tourism is the
   major industry for St. Johns County, with the beaches attracting the majority of tourists. St. Johns
   County will encounter lost revenue and jobs if the beaches are not maintained to the standards
   required to bring visitors continually to the community. St. Johns County requests Congressional
   Delegation support of this important federal appropriation of $7 million in federal funding (FY10)
   for the design and construction efforts.
                      St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                        County Interoperable 800MHz Communications System
                                and Combined Communication Center


Subject:      County Interoperable 800 MHz Communications System and
              Combined Communications Center

1.    PURPOSE:

     a)    Request $22.5 million for the purpose of implementation of a county wide, interoperable,
           Public Safety Project 25 (P25) 800MHz Communications System.

     b)    Request $9.5 million for the purpose of construction of nine (9) new communications tower
           sites and upgrade of two existing tower sites.

     c)    Request $4 million for the purpose of construction of a combined Public Safety
           Communications Center.


2.    DISCUSSION/FACTS:

      P25 - 800MHz Communications System

     a)    Existing radio communications within St. Johns County is provided by independent public
           safety agencies within the County. Operating primarily in the VHF High Band, public safety
           agencies do not effectively communicate between systems.

     b)    Motorola Report (site visit) February 5, 2003, determined over fifty percent of the Public
           Safety Communications system was made up of products outside the window of vendor
           support.

     c)    Florida State Technology Office Report February 13, 2004, recommended short-term
           upgrading of the existing system with the long-term goal of implementation of a county wide
           interoperable Public Safety Communications system.

     d)    RCC Consultants, Tallahassee, Florida, was contracted to evaluate the existing system,
           perform a needs assessment with County and City public safety agencies and develop
           specific communications recommendations to address future needs. In the RCC report dated
           January 17, 2005, RCC recommended implementation of a countywide, Project 25
           compliant, 800 MHz trunked radio system to achieve the desired interoperability, traffic-
           carrying capacity and ensure sufficient capacity for future expansion requirements.

     e)    St. Johns County was licensed for fifteen (15) NPSPAC allocated 800 MHz frequencies
           under a slow-growth implementation plan on October 6, 2006. The proposed system must be
          fully constructed by October 6, 2011, or the 800 MHz license will be revoked and the
          frequencies returned to the control of the FCC.

     Tower Sites

     a) Two existing tower sites must be upgraded to meet current construction standards.

     b) System engineering requires the construction of nine (9) additional tower sites to achieve the
        required system coverage area.

     Combined Communications Center

     a) January 24, 2006, the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council conducted a
        Homeland Security Comprehensive Vulnerability Assessment of the existing Emergency
        Operations Center/Communications Center. The assessment cited a “great need” to relocate
        due to close proximity to the existing railroad tracks with the risk of transport of hazardous
        materials, close proximity to the ocean, and location in a Category 3 storm surge area with an
        elevation of 11 feet, among many other concerns.

     b) In May 2009, the Emergency Operations Center relocated to a site West of Interstate 95 as a
        result of the concerns raised in the vulnerability assessment.

     c) St. Johns County Public Safety agencies desire construction of a combined Communications
        Center to be located on county owned property adjacent to the new Emergency Operations
        Center, west of Interstate 95, in conjunction with the implementation of the proposed Project
        25, Interoperable 800 MHz Communications System.


3.    CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: St. Johns County requests approximately $36 million
      in State funds for construction of the Interoperable Project 25 800MHz Public Safety
      Communications System and combined Communications Center.
                St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                         Failing Septic Tanks


Subject:     Failing Septic Tanks

1.   PURPOSE: To encourage, and respectfully request, our delegation to support the County’s
     request for funding of this critical public and environmental health issue in the West Augustine,
     Armstrong and North Hastings areas.


2.   DISCUSSION/FACTS:

     a) St. Johns County has completed a study assessing the nature of storm water and septic tank
        problems in various areas of the County. The referenced areas have many non-functioning
        septic tanks and large areas of storm water run off. The funding would be used to install
        central sewer and storm water facilities in the West Augustine Area. Total cost of the project
        was initially estimated to be $20 million.

     b) St. Johns County has previously applied for a wastewater facilities grant from the State of
        Florida. The project was recognized by the Water Committee as viable and received funding
        support in the amount of $550,000 in the FY01 Budget, of which $400,000 went to the West
        Augustine project. The Legislature supported requests in FY02; however the Governor
        vetoed the projects. The County did receive $891,000 from the Legislature in 2006 for
        sewers in West Augustine.

     c) St. Johns County is also encouraging our Congressional Delegation to provide financial
        assistance, and to date the County has received $835,000 from the Federal Government for
        sewer related projects in this area.

     d) St. Johns County has completed construction of the major project and the expenditure of the
        balance of funding will be completed within FY10. Additional funding is needed in order to
        further expand water and sewer throughout the West Augustine Community Redevelopment
        Area and to expand efforts to the Historic Black Community of Armstrong, as well as North
        Hastings.

3.   CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: Considering funding received and increased needs in
     other areas, St. Johns County continues to request $18 million in federal/state funding to
     eliminate failing septic tanks and storm water run off problems in the West Augustine,
     Armstrong and North Hastings areas.
                 St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                      Health & Human Services


Subject:     Implementing Community Based Solutions to Local Health &
             Human Services Issues

1.   PURPOSE: Request the State to continue to develop and implement community based solutions
     to local health and human services needs and oppose any state directives compelling local
     governments to provide services without providing appropriate funding.


2.   DISCUSSION/FACTS:

     a) St. Johns County is committed to enhancing the quality of life for all its citizens. We
        therefore support, promote, and encourage the development of a system of community-based
        care for the critically needed health and human services of our County.

     b) We encourage our State delegation to support the County’s opposition to unfunded mandated
        programs.

     c) While counties should partner with the State to create viable systems of care, budget
        shortfalls at the state level should not be shifted to counties to shoulder the financial burden.


3.   CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: St. Johns County requests increased state funding for
     community mental health and substance abuse services, crisis intervention team (CIT), and
     Criminal Justice Mental Health Substance Abuse Technical Assistance Centers. St. Johns County
     also requests support of a fair and equitable billing methodology for purposes of assessing the
     amount of county subsidization of the state’s Medicaid expenditures for nursing home services.
                  St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                      Housing & SHIP Funding


Subject: Housing & SHIP Funding
1. PURPOSE: To encourage and respectfully request our delegation to support the County’s request
   for full funding of the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program providing for the
   rehabilitation of low-income housing, down-payment assistance for first-time low and moderate-
   income homebuyers, and funding for other qualified affordable housing initiatives.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

   a) In recent years the State Legislature has capped funding for the SHIP program funded under the
      Sadowski Act as a percentage of the document stamp tax revenues. This action has diverted
      hundreds of millions of dollars to the State’s general fund rather than to the SHIP program as
      intended with the establishment of the initial trust account.

   b) Although housing prices have fallen, credit requirements have tightened and the need for down-
      payment assistance is as important as ever. At the same time, older housing continues to
      deteriorate so the need for rehabilitation funding for low-income homeowners is increasing.

   c) Funding for FY10 has been drastically cut to the extent that the down-payment assistance and
      rehabilitation programs have been forced to cease taking SHIP applications.


3. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION:

   a) Request removal of the cap on state SHIP funding that has been diverted over the past several
      years.

   b) Request restoration of funding for SHIP affordable housing initiatives which will stimulate
      employment through housing rehabilitation and new home construction.
                   St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                  Juvenile Justice - Programmatic and Financial Improvements


Subject: Juvenile Justice – Programmatic and Financial Improvements

1.     PURPOSE: Request the State Legislature to support programmatic and financial improvements
       to juvenile justice programs in the State of Florida.

2.     DISCUSSION/FACTS:

     a) The goal of an effective juvenile justice program is to teach the juveniles how to become
        productive members of society.

     b) Providing quality, cost-effective, and accessible services to juvenile delinquents is an
        important component of both local and state government.

     c) St. Johns County believes it is in the best interest of juveniles, law enforcement, and the court
        system for offenders to be detained in a facility as close as possible to their home and with
        offenders of similar levels of violation.

     d) St. Johns County, like many counties throughout Florida, has been required to annually
        overpay the State for their provision of juvenile justice services, with annual reimbursements
        occurring at the end of each fiscal year, which delays availability of these County funds for
        other necessary programs and services.

     e) The Florida Association of Counties (FAC) has a Juvenile Justice section of its Public Safety
        Policy Committee 2010 draft statements, which address many of these issues. St. Johns County
        fully supports the following FAC initiatives in this matter.

3.     RECOMMENDATIONS: Request the State Legislature to support programmatic and financial
       improvements to juvenile justice programs in the State of Florida.

      a)   Support the findings and recommendations of the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Blueprint
           Commission report.

      b) Support revising s. 985.686, F.S., to define the financial responsibility for juvenile detention
           care by means of proportional responsibility between the state and the county.

      c)   Support legislation that implements juvenile detention alternatives and revises the Detention
           Risk Assessment Instrument (DRAI) to divert children from detention facilities.

      d) Support uniform state funding of Juvenile Assessment Centers (JAC) throughout Florida to strive
           to achieve equal treatment of youth offenders.


Note: Staff recommends the County work with the Florida Association of Counties to incorporate the
      Commission’s DJJ concerns into FAC’s currently established initiatives regarding this matter.
                 St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                            Library Funding


Subject: Library Funding

1.   PURPOSE: Request state and federal funding that encourages the establishment and continued
     development of free library services.

4.   DISCUSSION/FACTS:

     a) Access to Government Services, especially E-Government: Public libraries are the “go to”
        place when Floridians need to use a computer and access the Internet to get government
        services.

     b) Education and Reading: Libraries are the safety net that ensures students of all ages succeed
        in school. Florida’s public libraries offer almost 40 million items for learning and reading.

     c)      Local Economic Development: Libraries provide vital services to small businesses
          including research resources, educational programs, and assistance with business
          development. Libraries also help individuals with job searches and career development.

     d) Coordination of Resource Sharing: Through public libraries, Floridians can use resources
        from other libraries in their area and around the state via ground delivery service.

     e)      Access to Shared Informational Databases: Public libraries provide access to hundreds of
          shared informational databases that would otherwise be unavailable to the general public.

5.   RECOMMENDATION: The following issues are state funded and are included in the Florida
     Library Association’s 2010 Legislative Platform.

     a) Recommend the restoration of State Aid to Public Libraries funding from the current
        $21,253,978 to the $33,400,000 appropriated in 2000-2001. In 2008-2009, the appropriation
        was $23,384,001. If funding is reduced further, vitally needed federal Library Services and
        Technology Act (LSTA) funds received by Florida will be reduced. Florida received LSTA
        funding of $8.7 million in 2009.

     b) Recommend support of the continuation of the Department of State, in particular the
        Division of Library and Information Services, and its programs in their current form as the
        agency goes through the Sunset Review process.

     c) Recommend restoration of Library Cooperative Grant funding from the current $1.2 million
        to the $2.4 million appropriated in 2007-2008. These funds are critical for Florida’s six
        multi-type library cooperatives (MLCs), which coordinate resource sharing so Floridians can
        use resources from other libraries through ground delivery and reciprocal borrowing services
        and continuously upgrade the skills of library employees.
                   St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                              Grant Funding – Recreation/Open Space


Subject:       Grant Funding – Recreation/Open Space


1.   PURPOSE: Request continued funding for Florida Communities Trust Florida Forever Program,
     Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program, Division of Historic Resources Special
     Categories Grants, and Land and Water Conservation grants.


2.   DISCUSSION/FACTS:

     a) The Florida Communities Trust Florida Forever Program has helped local governments
        purchase land for parks, recreation, open space and conservation. St. Johns County has had
        several successful partnerships with the Florida Communities Trust to purchase land through
        the Florida Forever Program.

     b) Developing land to provide parks and recreation facilities is important to the quality of life for
         residents and visitors to St. Johns County.

     c) Through development programs such as Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program,
         Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Office of Greenways and Trails Recreational Trails
         Program, St. Johns County is able to build parks for 50 cents on the County dollar.

     d) St. Johns County continues to receive high amounts of positive community support, which
         results in receiving “quality points” in grant applications.

     e) St. Johns County continues to maximize the availability of Florida Recreation Development
         Assistance Program granting by responding to the needs of residents and maximizing local and
         state dollars through this program.

     f) St. Johns County will continue to apply for development grants through these programs to
         maintain and provide park facilities to residents and visitors, as well as expanding County
         dollars for park development.


3.   CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: As St. Johns County continues to grow, it is important
     to continue to secure lands for parks, recreation, open space, and conservation for future
     generations. The Legislature must continue to fund the Florida Communities Trust Florida Forever
     Program and increase the annual allocation to local governments.

     St. Johns County requests the State delegation to support a successor program with higher
     allocations for the Florida Communities Trust Florida Forever Program once the program sunsets
     in 2010.
                   St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                       Scenic and Historic Byways


Subject:       Scenic and Historic Byways
1.   PURPOSE: Request continued support to raise awareness and provide funding opportunities for
     the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway and the William Bartram Scenic and Historic
     Highway.

2.   DISCUSSION / FACTS:

     a) St. Johns County is home to the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway as designated by the
        National Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) National Scenic Byway program and the
        William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway as designated by the Florida Department of
        Transportation (FDOT).

     b) Both of these designated roadways are supported by strong volunteer groups and non-profit,
        community-based organizations.

     c) The designated A1A Scenic Byway and the William Bartram Scenic Highway are important
        scenic and historic gateways into St. Johns County that strongly promote not only St. Johns
        County’s history, tourism, local economy and growth management efforts, but also promote the
        entire Northeast Florida region as well.

     d) In the past St. Johns County has been very fortunate to receive several national (via FHWA) and
        state (via FDOT) grants for various beautification projects along both A1A Scenic and Historic
        Coastal Byway and the William Scenic and Historic Highway as follows:

       National Scenic Byway grant awards 2003-2010
       Scenic and Historic A1A – Master Plan / Transportation Study…..……....grant award $500,000
       Scenic and Historic A1A – 5 Year Corridor Management Plan update and
       Oral Histories………………………………………………………………grant award $25,000
       Wind Swept Visitors Welcome Interpretative/ Information Center ………grant award $250,000
       Northern Gateway Sign and Kiosk Sign for Pier Park………………….…grant award $90,000
       William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway - Master Plan, Wayfinding
       Interpretative Plan, Oral Histories, Web Site Design, Video, and Corridor
       Overlay District Ordinance…………………………………..…………….grant award $600,000

       Florida Department of Transportation Beatification Grant
       Ponte Vedra median landscape and irrigation improvements…………….……..award 1 million

3.   CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION: Because the A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway
     and the William Bartram Scenic and Historic Highway are important to the historical culture of St.
     Johns County and to tourism of northeast Florida, St. Johns County requests legislative support for
     awareness of these designated scenic and historic roadways and for funding opportunities for their
     protection and enhancement.
                   St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                             Development Rights for Conservation Land


Subject:       Development Rights for Conservation Land


1.   PURPOSE: Request the 2009 Florida Legislature to support legislation to assist counties in
     acquiring development rights to reserve land for conservation, ecotourism, working agricultural
     lands, and similar uses.


2.   DISCUSSION/FACTS:

     a) Over the past five years, St. Johns County has grown at a greater than 5 percent growth rate.
        This growth has stressed the natural environment.

     b) Thirty three percent of working agricultural croplands (excluding silviculture) were converted
        to non-agricultural use between 1997-2007. Agriculture has over a $400 million economic
        impact annually to St. Johns County.

     c) The National Strategy for Homeland Security, issued in 2002, states “America’s critical
        infrastructure encompasses a large number of sectors. Our agriculture, food, and water sectors,
        along with public health and emergency service sectors provide the essential goods and
        services Americans need to survive”

     d) In 2003, the County adopted a Greenway, Blueway and Trails Master Plan, which provides
        merits of preserving land for conservation, ecotourism, and maintaining a sustainable built and
        natural environment.

     e) The options for St. Johns County to preserve conservation lands are limited. Funding for
        purchasing natural areas is difficult, property owners’ desire monetary or density
        compensation, and the transfer of development rights process has not proven successful in
        maintaining the long-term viability of natural areas.


3.   CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION:                       St. Johns County requests the 2009 Florida
     Legislature to support legislation to assist counties in acquiring development rights to reserve land
     for conservation, ecotourism, working agricultural lands, and similar uses.
                  St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                               State Road 9B


Subject:       State Road 9B
1. PURPOSE: Ensure maximum eligibility of State, Federal and regional funding sources for State
   Road 9B (SR9B) by designating it as a Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) Facility.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

     a) The northwest quadrant of St. Johns County is growing at a very rapid rate. This entire
        quadrant has only three accesses to the north, where 60% of the County’s residents commute
        daily for work in Jacksonville. State Road 13 (SR13) near the County’s western border is
        currently experiencing a deficient level of service. Additionally, US1 has a small amount of
        capacity remaining, but is already projected to become deficient as approved development is
        constructed. I-95 is accessible only at the County Road 210 (CR210) interchange, where both
        the interchange and CR210 in the area of the interchange reflect safety and level of service
        deficiencies. The CR210 and I-95 interchange area is subject to major congestion during both
        the morning and evening peak periods. There is a growing realization in Duval County that
        completion of the southern portion of SR9B – between County Road 2209 (CR2209) and I-95 -
        will relieve traffic congestion on State Roads in southern Duval County as well as in St. Johns.

     b) The two SR9B roadway segments between CR2209 and I-95 are included in the First Coast
        Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Long Range Transportation Plan. The attached SR9B
        Status Map dated 7/8/08 provides an overview and status summary for the entire SR9B project.

     c) The SR9B connection from CR2209 to I-95 offers the best and safest second access and
        connection from northern St. Johns County to I-95, SR9A and the Jacksonville Port. There is a
        proposed Development of Regional Impact in St. Johns County that appears likely (if
        approved) to partner with FDOT and St. Johns County, provided appropriate State and local
        funding resources are available.

3. RECOMMENDATION:

     a) Make the critical SR9B roadway eligible for the greatest possible range of funding resources
        by designating it as a Strategic Intermodal System (SIS) Facility.

     b) Include in the FDOT Work Program adequate funds to move this critical project, particularly
        those sections between CR2209 and I-95, toward construction at the earliest possible date.
                   St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                         State Road 312, including State Road 313 Bypass


Subject:        State Road 312, including the State Road 313 Bypass

1. PURPOSE:

    a) Request $90 million for the proposed State Road 313 (SR313) Extension/Bypass from State
       Road 207 (SR207) to State Road 16 (SR16).

    b) Request $83 million for Design, Right-of-way Acquisition, and Construction from SR16 north
       to US1.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

    a) The St. Johns County Commission has included this project among their top three priorities for
       several years. The SR313 Bypass will create a half-loop around St. Augustine to relieve
       excessive stagnation along US1 and provide a preferred non-local travel route for our fast-
       growing county. The secondary effect is the improvement of local traffic flow within St.
       Augustine.

    b) The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization, formerly the First Coast
       Metropolitan Planning Organization (FCMPO), fully supports this project, which is included in
       the FCMPO Long Range Plan.

    c) The Final Environmental Impact Statement (PD&E) was completed in 1995 by the FDOT.
       This study proposed a tentative alignment for the controlled access bypass with two
       intersections between the SR207 and US1 north connections. Intersections would be located at
       County Road 214 (CR214) and SR 16.

    d) In FY2003-2004, St. Johns County funded a $2 million update of the original PD&E Study.
       Included was an update of the Environmental Impact Statement for the project and design
       sufficient to produce Right-of-Way maps identifying parcels to be acquired for right-of-way.

    e) As a 2005 Federal Earmark, the SR313 project was included in the Federal transportation
       budget. These funds allowed the FDOT to include final design and the acquisition of some
       rights-of-way in subsequent versions of the Work Program. The programmed funds are not
       sufficient to acquire all needed rights-of-way or initiate construction of any portion of the
       SR313 Bypass.

    f) Funding assistance is requested for two portions of the SR313 Extension/Bypass:

           i.   The southern portion of the SR313 Bypass, between the SR16 interchange and the
                current terminus of SR312 at SR207. This portion will provide the greatest improvement
                to traffic congestion on the downtown St. Augustine portion of US1. Future right-of-way
                parcels are seriously threatened by new development demands in the area.
       ii.   The northern portion of the SR313 Extension/Bypass, from SR16 to US1 north. Land
             between Woodlawn Drive and SR16 is increasingly subject to development, and thus
             rising in cost. A proposed Development of Regional Impact located at the proposed
             intersection of SR313 and US1 appears likely (if approved) to partner with FDOT and St.
             Johns County in the design, land acquisition and construction of this roadway, provided
             the needed State and local funding is available. If approved, this development will also
             significantly increase the need for and traffic demand upon this new roadway.


3. RECOMMENDATIONS:

   a) St. Johns County requests $90 million in State funds for the design, right-of-way acquisition,
      and construction of the SR313 Bypass from SR207 to SR16.

   b) St. Johns County requests $83 million for the SR313 Bypass from SR16 north to US1.
                  St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                               I-95 Interchange with County Road 210


Subject:       I-95 Interchange with County Road 210
1. PURPOSE: Request $50 to $100 million for long-term improvements to the I-95 interchange with
   County Road 210 (CR210) as specified by the forthcoming Interchange Modification Report.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

      a)   I-95 is the only interstate connection between St. Johns County and the greater Jacksonville
           urban area. The I-95 interchange with CR210 is the only one serving the north portion of St.
           Johns County. This interchange experiences severe congestion and significant safety
           concerns.

      b)   An Interchange Modification Report (IMR) is currently under way and expected to be
           completed during the upcoming fiscal year. Design, right-of-way, and construction dollars
           will be required for the IMR’s final approval and implementation. The report requires the
           development of several design alternatives based on existing and forecast future traffic. Both
           the FDOT and the Federal Highway Administration must accept the report and approve the
           final recommended alternative. Because this extensive and time-consuming process is not
           yet complete, the recommended long-term improvement is not yet clearly defined.
           Therefore, the best cost estimate that can be offered is a minimum-to-maximum range.

      c)   The I-95 interchange with CR210 has been an established high priority for St. Johns County
           for several years. These projects are included in the First Coast Metropolitan Planning
           Organization Cost Feasible Plan of the 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan adopted in
           December 2004. These same projects are anticipated to be in the Cost Feasible Plan of the
           2035 Long Range Transportation Plan scheduled for adoption by the North Florida
           Transportation Planning Organization in December, 2009.


3. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: St. Johns County requests $50 to $100 million in State
   funds for long-term improvements to the I-95 interchange with CR210 as specified by the
   forthcoming Interchange Modification Report.
                       St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                  County Road 210 Overpass at US1


Subject:       County Road 210 Overpass at US1
1. PURPOSE:

      a)   Request $38 million for the purpose of constructing an overpass on County Road 210
           (CR210) at US1 as a phase one improvement.

      b)   Request $49 million for the purpose of adding interchange ramps connecting the CR210
           overpass at U S1 as a second phase.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

      a)   CR210 currently intersects US1 at two “T” intersections, separated in distance by almost one
           mile due to the close proximity and significantly lower grade of the parallel Florida East
           Coast (FEC) railroad track. This decreases the capacity of CR210, increases congestion on
           both CR210 and US1, and degrades safety on both roads.

      b)   A grade separated overpass connecting CR210 directly across the FEC railroad and US1
           would provide immediate needed capacity, reduce congestion on both CR210 and US1, and
           improve safety on both roads.

      c)   The addition of interchange ramps to the CR210 overpass at US1 as a second phase would
           add additional capacity, further reduce congestion, and further improve safety.

      d)   This project is included in the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization’s adopted
           Long Range Transportation Plan.

      e)   The FDOT and St. Johns County have been working cooperatively on this project for several
           years. In 2004 St. Johns County provided $400,000 for a Project Development and
           Environmental Study, completed in 2007.

      f)   In 2007 two Federal earmarks for the CR210 overpass / interchange at US1 was included in
           the Federal transportation budget. These funds allowed FDOT to include final design and
           some right-of-way in subsequent versions of the Work Program.

      g)   St. Johns County is pursuing acquisition of additional right-of-way sufficient for phase one at
           this time.


3. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: St. Johns County requests $38 million in State funds for
   construction of the CR210 overpass over US1 and $49 million in State funds for construction of
   interchange ramps for the CR210 overpass over US1.
                   St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                            Unfunded Mandates


Subject:       Unfunded Mandates


1. PURPOSE: Request the State to cooperate with local governments to collectively serve the citizens
   of Florida in the best way and be considerate of local governments when passing down unfounded
   mandates.


2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

   a) A central feature of Florida's system of public finance is a division of revenue sources and
      service-delivery responsibilities between government at the state and local levels. Since 1940, the
      authority to levy ad valorem taxes on tangible property has been constitutionally restricted to
      local governments. All other forms of taxation are preempted to the state except as provided by
      general law.

   b) Since at least the early 1970s, this division of resources between state and local government has
      become increasingly imbalanced. Many statutory and constitutional restrictions have been placed
      on local property taxes, while at the same time general purpose local governments have been
      assigned unfunded mandates in growth management, environmental protection, pensions, workers'
      compensation, and other policy areas.

   c) Between 1969 and 2008, 113 amendments to the Florida Constitution have been approved by
      voters. Thirty-nine amendments affected the fiscal capacity of state or local government. Of these,
      32, or 82%, originated in the Legislature. Most of the amendments proposed by the Legislature
      increased the fiscal capacity of the state government (85%) but decreased the fiscal capacity of
      local government (69%).

   d) In the mid-1980s, Florida enacted growth management legislation that required general purpose
      local governments to keep roads and other capital facilities abreast of population growth. The
      Legislature's effort to fund this "concurrency" requirement with state revenues failed when
      political support for the so-called "services tax" faltered. Local governments were forced by the
      concurrency requirement on roads, drainage, parks, and schools to raise property taxes,
      supplement general revenues with other sources of income, accept lower levels of service for
      facilities not included in Florida's concurrency-management system, and rely on the state
      government to grant them authority to levy other (non-ad-valorem) types of taxes.

   e) In 1990, voters amended the Florida Constitution to exempt counties and cities from future
      unfunded mandates unless the legislation is approved by a two-thirds membership vote of each
      house, or it meets other special conditions. However, the unfunded mandates amendment had
      little lasting effect on the frequency with which unfunded mandates were enacted. Although the
      number of mandates declined significantly in the years surrounding the passage of the unfunded
      mandates amendment, the number soon rose above previous highs and remained there in most
      years up to the present.

   f) The unfunded mandates amendment also had only a modest impact on the costs that unfunded
      mandates were imposing on local governments. Since 1990, annual costs of unfunded mandates,
      adjusted for inflation, have never reached the 1980 level of $100 million, but in most years they
      have been at least $25 million, and in several years they have been in excess of $50 million.

   g) The costs of most mandates are modest, or are at least judged so in the analyses of legislative
      staff. Since 1978, the Legislature has enacted 1,950 unfunded mandates. Of these, 88% were
      either judged to have no costs, or the costs were not determined. The costs of another 5% were
      estimated to be greater than zero but less than $10 million each. Only 1 percent of all unfunded
      mandates since 1978 have cost local governments more than $10 million.

   h) The large number of mandates with moderate costs for local government in the year of enactment
      obscures the cumulative costs of mandates as they are layered on top of one another year after
      year. The costs of unfunded mandates enacted in Year One are also imposed in Year Two and
      each subsequent year. The rolling total reached $11 billion by 1990 when the unfunded mandates
      amendment was adopted. Since then it has risen above $15 billion.


3. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: Request the State to cooperate with local governments to
   collectively serve the citizens of Florida in the best way and be considerate of local governments
   when passing down unfunded mandates.
                    St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                              Unfunded Mandates - 75% Recycling Goal


Subject: Support for a 75% Recycling Goal, providing no unfunded
         mandates are imposed on local governments


1. PURPOSE: Request that policies adopted by the Florida Legislature assure that no unfunded
   mandates are imposed on local jurisdictions, in either the short term or in the future, in order to meet
   the 75% recycling goal established by House Bill 7135.

2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

    a) The 2009 Legislature adopted HB 7135, establishing a goal of 75% for Florida’s recycling rate
       by the year 2020 and requiring that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection submit a
       report to the Florida legislature on or before January 1, 2010 setting forth recommendations for
       achievement of this goal.

    b) Recycling is carried out by and at the expense of local government jurisdictions using local tax
       revenue and with no State funding.

    c) Recycling in St. Johns County currently costs residents $37 per household per year and covers
       only household waste recycling.

    d) Increasing the rate of recycling in St. Johns County from its current level of approximately 16%
       to the 75% goal will require new ordinances mandating not only more comprehensive household
       waste recycling but commercial waste recycling, yard waste recycling and
       construction/demolition debris recycling.

    e) Recycling in Florida’s existing economy is not economically self supporting and is not expected
       to become self supporting in the foreseeable future. Therefore, increasing the percentage of
       waste recycled will necessarily increase the cost of recycling.

    f) Unless adequate and appropriate revenues are generated at the State level and dedicated to
       support the real cost of increased recycling rates, the result of HB 7135 will be a significant
       unfunded mandate to local jurisdictions.

    g) Therefore, St. Johns County supports the 75% recycling goal, only if adequate and appropriate
       State tax revenues are dedicated to the cost of achieving the goal.

    h) St. Johns County does not support the distribution of state funds through competitive grants;
       distribution of revenues on the basis of population is the preferred methodology.

3. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: Establish adequate and appropriate State tax revenue
   sources dedicated to the cost of achieving the 75% recycling rate goal. Examples of such State
   revenue sources include, but are not limited to:
a) A bottle bill requiring a deposit for all types of drink containers.

b) A plastic bag fee based on the number of bags ordered annually by any business.

c) Statewide mandatory commercial recycling by entities defined as “commercial”, including a fee
   for compliance monitoring and enforcement.

d) Statewide mandatory minimum recycling rate for construction and demolition debris facilities,
   including a fee for compliance monitoring and enforcement.

e) Statewide mandatory recycling of collected yard waste, including a fee for compliance
   monitoring and enforcement.
                    St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                   Unfunded Mandate - New EPA Proposed Regulations (NNC)


Subject: New EPA Proposed Regulations (Numeric Nutrient Criteria)

1.   PURPOSE:

     a) Express extreme concern over new Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
        regulations, proposed for adoption by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
        (FDEP), establishing numeric nutrient criteria (NNC) that lack sound scientific foundation.
        Request that any regulations be based on sound scientific data specific to Florida and not on
        negotiations with federal agencies.

     b) Request that any new regulations be accompanied by funding sufficient to allow timely
        implementation of adopted regulations without reliance on local government revenues.
        Emphasize that the economic impact of the proposed NNC regulations on local government
        jurisdictions and agricultural interests is expected to be even more significant then that of the
        current established Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements.

     c) To assure all parties that St. Johns County supports appropriate regulations, including numeric
        nutrient criteria, necessary to assure that Florida’s surface waters are clean, safe, and healthy.

2.   DISCUSSION/FACTS:

     f) The Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has (effectively) issued an ultimatum to
        the State of Florida that it must adopt and have in force NNC regulations by January 14, 2010,
        or regulators in Washington, DC, will develop and impose rules for them. Note that even if
        FDEP meets this narrow deadline, EPA will proceed with its own rulemaking if there has been a
        challenge to the Florida rule.

     g) The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) proposes to issue new regulations
        establishing specific NNC for phosphorus and nitrogen in Florida water bodies. Florida already
        has the toughest TMDL regulations in the country. Proposed regulations are as much as 14
        times more stringent then existing TMDL requirements.

     h) Neither the FDEP nor the EPA appear to have developed Florida specific data that supports any
        NNC, including those contained in the proposed regulations of the Department or the Agency.
        This is a highly technical issue that requires intimate knowledge of Florida’s unique ecosystem,
        and is best addressed by experts at the FDEP on the basis of adequate, timely, and appropriate
        data that is yet to be collected or analyzed.

     i)   EPA’s or FDEP’s proposed regulations would create an enormous new unfunded mandate on St.
          Johns County (and our state), with no mention of where the revenue will come from to meet the
          mandate. The resulting costs will inevitably be passed on to agricultural interests, small
          businesses, and residents by local jurisdictions, at a time when no one can afford such increased
          costs.
3.   RECOMMENDATIONS

     e) Request the Florida Legislature direct the FDEP to initiate the collection and analysis of
        adequate, timely, and appropriate data upon which to base the establishment of NNC regulations
        specific to Florida. Request, in the strongest manner, that the EPA delay further action until
        Florida has had sufficient time to study and understand the impact of these new regulations on
        our unique environment and fragile economy.

     f) Reqeust the Florida Legislature provide sufficient funds to allow timely compliance with the
        FDEP regulations when they are adopted. Ideally, this funding would come from a specific and
        dedicated revenue source that is not currently available to local government jurisdictions.
                  St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                              Unfunded Mandate - TMDL Regulations


Subject: St. Johns County Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Regulations

1. PURPOSE:

  a) Request $50 million over the next five years for the purpose of meeting unfunded mandates
     resulting directly from TMDL regulations imposed by the Florida Department of Environmental
     Protection (FDEP). If State funds are not available, this funding could come from a specific and
     dedicated revenue source established by the Legislature that is not currently available to local
     government jurisdictions.

  b) These funds would be used to construct regional stormwater treatment facilities and implement
     other best management practices necessary to meet the TMDL requirements imposed by
     currently existing FDEP regulations. All projects and costs will relate directly to the reduction of
     non-point source stormwater pollutant loads to the St. Johns River and its tributaries.

  c) Absent the requested funding, adopt legislation providing relief from meeting the scheduled
     nutrient reduction requirements as set forth in the adopted Lower St. Johns River BMAP (Basin
     Management Action Plans).

2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

  a) St. Johns County has numerous impaired water bodies (FDEP 303d listed) that are influenced by
     existing land uses beyond County control (e. g., agriculture).

  b) St. Johns County is one of very few local jurisdictions in the lower St. Johns River Basin that is
     required to accomplish significant nutrient load reductions entirely through non-point sources.
     Non-point source nutrient load reductions are far more difficult and costly to achieve than point
     sources (e. g., wastewater treatment plants).

  c) St. Johns County has a Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit through
     which the TMDL program will be enforced.

  d) St. Johns County, through the Lower St. Johns River BMAP, is required to reduce its nutrient
     discharges by 15,028 pounds per year of nitrogen and 948 pounds per year of phosphorus. These
     are already adopted TMDL’s, with a five-year implementation schedule under the MS4 permit.

  e) Pending (and about to be adopted) are additional requirements for Sixteen Mile Creek Sixmile
     Creek TMDL, Mill Creek, Cracker Branch, Moccasin Branch, and West Run Interceptor D that
     would bring these amounts to approximately 170,000 pounds/year of nitrogen and 28,988
     pounds/year of phosphorus.
3. RECOMMENDATIONS:

   a) St. Johns County requests $50 million in State funds over the next five years to assist in
      complying with the existing unfunded mandates for TMDL’s contained within the County’s
      MS4 permit.

   b) Alternatively, this funding could come from a specific and dedicated revenue source, authorized
      by the Florida Legislature that is not currently available to local government jurisdictions.
                    St. Johns County - 2010 Legislative Priority
                                   Water Conservation/Water Quality


Subject:       Water Conservation/Water Quality
1. PURPOSE: Request the 2010 Florida Legislature support the recommendations of the 2008 Water
   Congress Delegation, with emphasis on the Final 4 Recommendations, and the Recommendations of the
   Third Annual Report of the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida.

2. DISCUSSION/FACTS:

    a) It is crucial to ensure an adequate and reliable water supply for current and future generations of
       Florida residents.

    b) Mapping Florida’s most critical natural resources and pursuing new conservation methods should
       be a high priority in Florida.

    c) Florida must put increased focus on designing communities and buildings that are sustainable.

    d) A central organizing theme for all state public policy and agencies should be creating a sustainable
       Florida within one generation.

3. CONCLUSION/RECOMMENDATION: St. Johns County requests support of the recommendations
   of the 2008 Water Congress Delegation, with emphasis on the Final 4 Recommendations and the
   Recommendations of the Third Annual Report of the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida:

    a) 2008 Water Congress Delegation Final 4 Recommendations
         i.  Reinstate the annual state funding for alternative water supply development and water
             quality improvement and make it a recurring source of annual state funding.
        ii.  Support regional partnerships, incentives, and cooperative approaches to addressing long-
             term water sustainability in Florida.
       iii.  Amend, as necessary, any statute, rule, or policy so that quantifiable water conservation best
             management practices are considered an “alternative water supply” and are equally as
             eligible for funding as capital facility expansion proposals.
       iv.   Set a per capita target or goal for water use and quantifiable best management water
             practices and provide a stable funding base for the Conserve Florida program.

    b) Third Annual Report of the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida
          v.  Reinstating the annual state funding for alternative water supply development.
         vi.  Amend any state statute, rule, or policy so that quantifiable water conservation best
              management practices are considered an alternative water supply and are equally as eligible
              for funding as capital facility expansion proposals.
        vii.  Encourage regional visioning and support sustainable community design.
       viii.  Strengthen Florida’s buildings to address issues of hurricane protection, insurance rates,
              water conservation, and energy conservation.